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TIGSource ForumsCommunityDevLogsCodename: Mystery Babylon - Tactical RPG
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Copywright
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« on: February 05, 2020, 02:28:18 AM »

Codename: Mystery Babylon

I just made that up. It's unnamed.

Circa ~4 Days, I dipped my feet back into game development. I love Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance's gameplay. I don't love the newer ones.. they got a bit too anime cutesy.

Anyway, I was going down the conspiracy theory rabbit hole for days on end; truly fucking enamored and enthralled (especially by Bill Cooper's podcast). As I listened I thought: "Even if this is complete bullshit, this is a fucking amazing game plot".

And so, it shall be. I figure, it'll either be completely controversial for going too far down the rabbit hole OR it'll be brushed off as conjecture. Either way, such is the subjectivity of art.

---

The basic idea I have in mind is a foray into the secret dealings of the ruling class of the world and their secret societies. Human sacrifices, devil worship, demon invocations, mind control, possessions, etc. I literally have a Vatican level in my head where you fight the Pope's weird ass alien statue (lol).


---

None of that matters at the moment though, because it's prototype stage and I must be focused on gameplay. For now, I am content with recreating much fo Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance's gameplay. Which I will do until I nail it down. I figure after anotehr week and a half plus, I'll have the core battle system spaghetti coded (lol it's not terrible..but not production ready. I'm a Rubyist ffs).

Enough blathering: we came for the goods:



Very early stuff. No Stats yet, you can move multiple times (by design), no enemy AI or turn/phase changes yet. Last few days have been dedicated to getting the grid --> battle scene wired and working.

I'll post updates here.

(say, if you are a good C# programmer and like to refactor shit code and make dope games, get at me. OR if you are a 3D modeler or animator and know Blender or Unity's Animator system, get at me. Either way, I'll solo the dragon til' Kickstarter :D).
« Last Edit: August 15, 2021, 12:48:05 PM by Copywright » Logged


Copywright
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« Reply #1 on: February 05, 2020, 03:06:29 AM »




For Artistic Inspirations and a list of shit I'll never afford:

https://www.turbosquid.com/FullPreview/Index.cfm/ID/734511
https://www.turbosquid.com/3d-models/realistic-angel-wings-rigged-3d-1282097
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https://www.turbosquid.com/FullPreview/Index.cfm/ID/1277770

https://assetstore.unity.com/packages/vfx/particles/spells/demonic-hell-portal-128173

paints a vivid picture for those who can put it together. some real eyes wide shut to true horror. anyway, it's a good way to a finish line, artistically.

enemies will be humans and demons. humans invoke the demons, think Persona (since it's literally from real demonology, Goetia. fuck you, aleister crowley.).

hope some artist sees this and gets psyched. anyhoo, till alter.
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Copywright
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« Reply #2 on: February 21, 2020, 02:45:35 PM »

Here's the source code: https://github.com/zoegod911/fire-emblem
Build Download: https://www70.zippyshare.com/v/hvNHptsL/file.html

Still working on this, should see some new development in the coming weeks.
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Copywright
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« Reply #3 on: January 19, 2021, 10:45:24 PM »

This project died and became 2D!

Why? It'll be easier on me and I found some pretty cool resources. I still have the 3D project, and I'll admit, it has potential. But, I can move faster solo this way and won't suffer from lack of 3D art skills.

I'll keep the Codename, and forge on. Sticking to it this time, what else to do with Corona running rampant. The goal is a strong playable prototype and eventually reskinning with completely custom work and refocusing on the original narrative.

Baked 3D Sprites behind a shitty placeholder battle back


Example Map (of me literally dragging the y-axis of my sprite >,<):
The idea is to be mainly 2D, but all battlers are 3D models baked into 3D using Sprite Baker Studio (plus some shaders) in Unity. The goal is to get them as close to pixel art sprites as stylistically possible, without being on the Dead Cells team. Which should be cool, because the author or SBS claims to be building support for normal maps of generated sprites. HELLO, DYNAMIC LIGHTING.

I've been generating these baked sprites to my liking, and commissioning normal sprites based on them. However, I'll be implementing the basics soon: grid traversal, turn system, basic gui, the works.

EDIT: whoa, this forum doesn't inject media :/ I'll create gifs, one moment.

EDIT 2: I swapped out my shitty digitally painted battle back for a pixel art one. it's pretty neat:

« Last Edit: January 20, 2021, 12:25:27 AM by Copywright » Logged


Copywright
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« Reply #4 on: January 19, 2021, 11:20:50 PM »

(say, if you are a good C# programmer and like to refactor shit code and make dope games, get at me. OR if you are a 3D modeler or animator and know Blender or Unity's Animator system, get at me. Either way, I'll solo the dragon til' Kickstarter :D).

haha, I got no such help. Still soloing the dragon, though.
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Copywright
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« Reply #5 on: January 23, 2021, 04:04:14 PM »



Let me tell you, it's a bitch and a half getting UI rendering over Post-Processing effects. Especially if you can't/don't want to use Universal Render Pipeline's camera stacking (because it invalidates 'legacy' post processing effects... and on the LTS release you can't even color grade with camera stacking, too many hours lost finicking with that).

Ended up having my UI camera on a separate culling mask,, parenting it to the main cam. Works, but UI disappears when you change the camera size. So no zoom, until I fix that. Which I won't, until the main gameplay is done. Zooming can wait.

Laid the groundwork for UI. Working on gameplay essentials, namely the battle system next.


For now, I'm focusing on the grid.

For battle scenes, I still like the sideview idea but I'm flirting with using baked sprites in a more Shining force perspective:



Either way, there will be a need for custom battle backgrounds to fit the aesthetic. But... I'll cross that bridge later and trudge on with subpar backgrounds.


---


As for as narrative goes, I have no idea. I want to do my original idea, but don't really have the tilesets or sprites for that. I'm going to focus on gameplay and decide once the core mechanics are nailed down. So, narrative doesn't really exist atm.
« Last Edit: January 23, 2021, 04:31:11 PM by Copywright » Logged


Copywright
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« Reply #6 on: January 27, 2021, 01:22:58 AM »



Nailing down Grid mechanics and UI, before moving to battle scenes.

I made an awesome map using German ORTP, but it's Non-commercial Sad But, it's still awesome so I'll have to have an artist commission a 16x16 tileset in a similar vein. After doing a shitton of edits for Tiled editor, too. What a shame. I wanted to only use it for Kickstarter demo purposes, but they are adamant that ZERO dollars be involved in any way shape or form.

« Last Edit: February 28, 2021, 10:05:22 AM by Copywright » Logged


Copywright
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« Reply #7 on: January 31, 2021, 02:15:29 AM »

I was able to get arrow paths drawn based on user input:



The plan is to allow user-defined paths up until it's too inefficient, then redraw an a* path. Just enough customization to avoid traps set on certain cells, a future mechanic.


Also working on a mockup scene for a front-view battle perspective:



I might mess with the scales of models a bit... trying to nail down the aesthetic. I wish I could pixelate the models a bit more, but it gets to a really bad quality.

Things should start moving faster soon.
« Last Edit: January 31, 2021, 02:33:52 AM by Copywright » Logged


Fuzz Force
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« Reply #8 on: February 01, 2021, 04:18:15 AM »

that battle scene looks great. It's really unique compared to other games ive seen.
There is a strong disconnect between the overworld and the battles. I know you want the battles more pixelated but you could try making the overworld look more like the battles as its a strong identity.
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Copywright
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« Reply #9 on: February 01, 2021, 04:05:58 PM »

Thanks.

I agree, the overworld is rather bland at the moment. The tiles lack variety and the sprites are cheap Liberated Pixel Cup bases. I'm working on getting a pixel artist to define a strong identity in both areas. For now, while I'm still developing core mechanics, it will have to do.

That background I'm using is awesome, but it's placeholder until I have one commissioned that matches the scenery of the overworld: castle in the distance, grass and open road.

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Earworm
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« Reply #10 on: February 03, 2021, 07:49:17 AM »

I love tactical RPGs! If I'm honest, I also really prefer the 2D look especially for a game like this. Those pixels are just so much more pleasing to the eye.
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« Reply #11 on: February 04, 2021, 06:53:29 AM »

I love Shining Force, so its cool to see it's influence show up in the indie community. The most recent of the battle scene mockups you posted definitely gives off Shining Force vibes. If you are going to use 3D models, there's always Shining Force 3 for reference, as it tried to keep the spirit of the originals intact but with the use of 3D models. They used that opportunity to do more involved camera work during the battle scenes instead of keeping it static like in the 2d versions. Anyways, good luck on your project.
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« Reply #12 on: February 04, 2021, 08:35:05 AM »

This is taking me right back to Final Fantasy Tactics.  I really need to play more tactical games. This is looking great.
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Copywright
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« Reply #13 on: February 07, 2021, 08:28:31 PM »

Forgive me for not gif'ing this, but it's rather long:

https://streamable.com/f302so

We moved over to 16x16 tiles and I am so used to mapping in 32x32, that the map was way too huge for the sprite base I wanted to use.

So, I decided we needed to use taller sprites. I love Suikoden's style (and the game is excellent), and these sprites fit into a 16x16 square pretty well vertically. I'm hoping to commission sprites in a similar style and dimension.

We've overhauled the grid system away from Grids2D (unity plugin), to one based on Unity's Grid component and the Tilemap itself plus ScriptableObjects. Plus, a good amount of customization of our TMX importer to map custom properties to a given TileConfiguration, which manages stuff like passability, exit/entry sides, travel cost, etc.

Our solution is very similar to this

We also implemented heightmaps. Which is basically me painting a bunch of numbers on a tile layer in Tiled, and the TMX importer in Unity parsing the tileIds to give certain grid cells a given height.

This will affect our Line of Sight, where the range will increase as you get higher in height, and you'd be able to see over obstacles that would typically block your line of sight. Right now though, we just use the height as a way to give depth to our maps by a slight zoom based on the height.

Gameplay, AI, and UI are the focuses as we finish up the grid system revamp going into this next week.


---

meanwhile I've succeeded in getting the models really pixelated:




This was made using ss2D on the Asset Store. I found it better to use than Animation Baking Studio, because it bakes models via the Play Mode rather then Edit/Scene View. So, what you see is what you get. Vs, constant shader and camera effect trial and error when using ABS. However, you're going to want to make your game view the same resolution as what the exported spritesheet will be.

I am most likely going to export these and use them mainly as a reference for a pixel artist to mimic/improve. Though, the 3D scene looks awesome, there is a big disconnect between that scene and the overworld that's pretty hard to get over.

So, I figure go full pixel.

If I ever get to make a 3D sequel, I know what I'm doing lol

also, THANKS to everyone above!
« Last Edit: February 07, 2021, 10:06:27 PM by Copywright » Logged


Copywright
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« Reply #14 on: February 09, 2021, 09:18:44 PM »

Quick Update:

Just wanted to show some basic movement and our lighting system.

I'll upload to YouTube when the Suikoden sprites are gone -- I don't need Konami mad at me.


https://streamable.com/ixdwi3
https://streamable.com/ravbv6

Next up is movement for stairs - UI for actions and Turn/Phase display - Battle Scene (which is not ready, since the sprites are  not)

Speaking of battle scenes, I got my first test of a battle sprite:




It's decent, it'll do for prototyping.

So battle scene will probably come next week or so.
« Last Edit: February 09, 2021, 10:17:23 PM by Copywright » Logged


Copywright
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« Reply #15 on: February 11, 2021, 04:12:04 PM »



Smart Lighting 2D is awesome.

That is all.
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Copywright
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« Reply #16 on: February 14, 2021, 01:20:39 PM »

This week's update:

In the programming department, we did a ton of work on getting diagonal movement working with A* and creating a convincing shader to give the illusion of depth to our stairs (which can be applied to any tiles at a sloped angle).

We also revamped our highlight system to be more performant and used a shader instead of blinking 16x16 game objects (lol).



This took a but longer than expected, but it's worth it for the results.


In the UI department, I've been personally working on building out all the components in UGUI to be wired up later. About how far I've gotten so far:



I am a total UGUI noob, so these are all pretty much static atm. I am adding all the necessary graphics components from GIMP and setting anchors and whatnot as prefabs. But, zero scripting so far. Totally gonna rely on my programmer to help me out (haha, the freedom from coding has let me focus on these things and mapping).

Next are simple menus and inventory UI components. Hopefully done by next week.


In the level design department, I've been fighting with these awesome new trees I got. At first, I wanted to automap them in tiled, but that turned out to be a mess of layers and tmx rules. So, I decided to export my map as PNG and place them trees in GIMP. Relatively good results on the first go.

In RPG Maker land (my homeland before emigrating to Unityland), this is called "parallax mapping". Everywhere else it's called: "normal".



Since these aren't tiles, I have to manually place semi-transparent overlay sprites over the imported sprites and have a script assign any cell who's center is overlapped to be assigned a certain configuration. In this case, tree configurations.



The unmarked portions are traversable and the player will walk behind them, blocking line of sight. On the todo list is a silhouette shader to display player units and enemy unit (once they've been seen once) what are currently behind a tile/sprite.

Also, I made a pretty cool wall for the fort:



Hoping to put an iron gate in the middle, which will rise. Have two guards stationed out front.


In the art department, we are still working on custom character sprites and battle sprites. I'll show those when they're finished, but it's promising.

EDIT: screw it, have a WIP



Looking smooth, shading and palette may get more detailed in final version.


Narrative still does not exist yet... is that normal? Maybe once gameplay is totally solid, I can think more about it.
« Last Edit: February 14, 2021, 02:10:38 PM by Copywright » Logged


Copywright
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« Reply #17 on: February 15, 2021, 04:25:46 PM »

Shoutout to Castlevania for the fire portraits.

Unit Inventory WIP

« Last Edit: February 16, 2021, 09:21:43 AM by Copywright » Logged


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« Reply #18 on: February 20, 2021, 02:45:51 PM »



30 sec video form, because it looks like he's sliding in the gif (due to framerate): https://streamable.com/xguxz1
Got Unit Inventory almost completely wired up. I'll need portraits later, but ignoring those for now.

Next, is Attack Forecast. Which is already done graphically, just have to wire it up in UGUI. All remaining GUI should be done rather quickly, thanks to some handy base classes I have now.

Already halfway done with Attack Forecast, so next week will likely be the start of our battle scene implementation.



Which also means the battle scene should be coming up soon. The purely pixel art battlers aren't ready yet, so I'll likely just use the baked 3D models.

I did get this 60-frame behemoth finished:



original:


But, since there's so many more characters and animations per character... it'll be a while.

So 3D pixelated until then.
« Last Edit: February 20, 2021, 08:49:59 PM by Copywright » Logged


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« Reply #19 on: February 23, 2021, 03:53:11 PM »


30 second video, if you like image quality: https://streamable.com/69f993

Shining Poke Emblem Force  Cheesy


Battle system this week, hope to be nearly complete by the weekend.

These 3D models are not baked, but have the pixelate shaders/image effect applied only to them.

It was a pain to setup, but I found a cool PostMaskEffect script that allows for camera's image effects to only apply to certain objects.


Which means, camera stacking without URP with camera effects that don't affect other cameras.

For the parts of the system that rely on randomness, I decided to use True Random Pro which uses Random.org to generate truly random integers, float, etc. based on noise. The downside is this requires internet connection or it will default to using the built-in random number generator. You can still generate a seed of integers and have a more diverse pool than if you used the built-in random, so I'll likely do that for offline players.

However, I'll probably take advantage of this and include a 3-5 second blurb in the starting sequence, that suggests users have internet whilst playing for the best experience.

The positive that has come out of using it is that I learned about async/await in C#  Hand Clap

Since I am familiar with Javascript's Promise API, this is really familiar to me and makes doing API calls simple.

I focus on this, because too many times I've played games in emulators and rewound to a save state, only to have the same exact occurrence happen again no matter how many times I try to replay... So much for random.


Uh, I don't know if it's taboo to open source a game that aims to be commercial, but I don't particularly care at this stage. All Asset Store tools are gitignored, though Tongue

So GitHub is here: https://github.com/hjoseph96/divinity_soul

Back to programming solo again Cool
« Last Edit: February 23, 2021, 04:51:48 PM by Copywright » Logged


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